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Appointee Biographies

Big Game Management Advisory Committee

JOHN KAPLANIS

John Kaplanis is a full-time professional fire fighter for the City of Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue Service. In addition to his full-time job, John serves as the Executive Director of the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’s Alliance (NOSA). He is an award-winning outdoor writer and is a strong advocate for sustainable wildlife management and conservation. John is a licensed trapper and avid bow hunter with over 30 years of experience in the pursuit of moose, deer, bear, wolves and wild turkeys in Ontario. John previously served as a member of another MNRF big game advisory committee.

KEITH MUNRO

Keith Munro is the wildlife biologist with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. In this position Keith reviews Ontario’s big game management policy to ensure it is science-based and reflects the interests of hunters. He has extensive experience in wildlife research. Keith holds a B.Sc., M.Sc. and is completing a Ph.D. in wildlife sciences. He is an avid hunter and advocate for the important role hunting plays in wildlife conservation. He previously served as a member of another MNRF big game advisory committee.

GARY COUILLARD

Gary Couillard is a retired Ontario Conservation Officer. He served for almost 35 years with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry with over 30 years as a Conservation Officer. Mr. Couillard worked in Lanark and Tweed Districts, and then spent over 20 years in Sturgeon Falls in North Bay District. He also served in Sudbury and Thunder Bay Districts and finished off his career in Timmins. Upon retirement, Mr. Couillard started Nighthawk Outfitters in Matheson, providing black bear guiding services to both non-resident and resident hunters. Mr. Couillard received the Amethyst Award in 2001 and was Ontario Conservation Officer of the Year in 2006.

ELFORD WIENS

Neil Wiens was born and raised in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay). Neil is a lifelong, avid outdoorsman in Ontario with additional involvement in the tourism industry. Neil is a past President of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters with over twenty years of service on the Board of Directors. He has extensive experience advocating for wise management and sustainable use of natural resources. Neil has also served on MNRF wildlife committees related to resident big game hunting and the tourism industry.

FERN DUQUETTE

Fern Duquette is owner and operator of a tourism outfitter business offering moose hunts in Atikokan, Ontario. With over 30 years of experience as an outfitter and guide in the tourist industry in Ontario, Fern has first-hand experience of how changes in big game management policies and specifically hunting opportunities impact the tourism businesses. He is also a pilot and travels extensively in northwest Ontario, which has provided the opportunity to observe changes in species and habitat for the past 30 years. As a long-time big game hunter in Ontario himself, Fern has a strong desire to ensure that moose and other big game animals are well managed for ecological, social and economic benefits now and into the future.

GLENN RIVARD

Glenn Rivard is retired from Hydro One Forestry. In this position Glenn travelled extensively throughout northwestern Ontario. In addition, he has spent much of his life as a hunter, trapper and angler in Ontario. His experience has provided him the opportunity to observe changes to the landscape and how hunters utilize it over time. Glenn has been on the board of directors for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters since 1999. He is a Basic Archery Instructor Trainer for the National Archery in the Schools Program in Ontario and devotes considerable time to stewardship projects on his own property. He has an extensive history serving on various MNRF and stakeholder advisory committees related to big game management.

E. ALLAN HYDE

Al Hyde retired from Pembroke District MNRF following an extensive and diverse career as a conservation officer, a biologist, a park superintendent and a resource manager and supervisor. His career took him from the eastern part of the province, to the near north, and the far north. He developed firsthand knowledge and experience in a broad range of resource management opportunities and with consideration for public, hunters and First Nation interests. Al has been a volunteer in support of his local communities and natural resources conservation at each stop in his career. He has negotiated several agreements with First Nations and with industries. He has led provincial policy development and served on several advisory committees. He continues to share his knowledge and experience as a guest lecturer at a local college. Al has been a hunter and a fisherman his entire life.

ROBERT GARSON

Bob Garson has been involved with tourism in Northern Ontario for over 30 years. He has been a NOTO (Nature and Outdoor Tourism Ontario) Board Member since 2002 and currently the President. He owned and operated Garson's Fly-In Outposts since 2002, operating in the Hornepayne/White River area. He retired July 2019 from the Canadian Armed Forces Reserves after over 37 years. Bob has been on many committees representing Remote Tourism in Northern Ontario and continue to promote the tourism industry in Ontario.